…launches scholarship for girl children
By Festus Ahon, ASABA
THE Omu of Okpanam in Delta State, Obi Martha Dunkwu has marked 20 years coronation anniversary, saying she has launched a foundation to award scholarships to indigent Anioma girl children, who would be engaged in academic studies, skills acquisition, entrepreneurship development and micro-investment.
Speaking during the coronation anniversary, Dunkwu said; “to this end, a building in my palace has also been dedicated in perpetuity to this NGO for effective operation.”
Saying she never dreamt of taking up the royal responsibility having lived a substantial part of her life outside the shores of Nigeria, the traditional ruler said she later realised that providence had prepared her for the royal seat.
Dunkwu who doubles as the Omu of Anioma and Nneoha said people doubted her ability to take on the royal task, adding that she has brought visibility to the institution as a media practitioner.
She said: “With due respect to modesty, and as a result of my activities, being a media practitioner of close to forty years, the Omu institution has gained local and international recognition.
“We vigorously promoted our native attire (Akwa-Ocha), our language, our food, our culture and tradition.
“To this extent, some foreign universities have been coming to understudy the Omu institution for the benefit of research and documentation”.
Speaking further, she said; “the last 20 years as Omu, have been an eye-opener, sweet memories and painstaking”, adding that to become an Omu, they designate, if married, would vacate her marital home to her palace where she would be bestowed both male and female rights.
The Omu institution, according to sources, started over 820 years ago with very few women in Anioma nation (present-day Delta north senatorial district), adding that there were only six Omus at the time Dunkwu was coronated, but the number has now increased to 15.
The ceremony was attended by traditional rulers in Anioma nation including the second vice-chairman of the Delta State Traditional Rulers’ Council and Obi of Ubulu-Unor, HRM Henry Kikachukwu, the Obi of Egbudu-Akah, HRM Austin Okolie; Igwe of Abala, HRM Fredrick Egbunokonyen; Obi of Ejeme-Aniogor, HRM Anthony Ogboli; Obi of Ezi, Mohayem I; Obi of Obomkpa, HRM Josiah Onyeamechi; other Omus; and political officeholders.
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